HOUSTON – Charles Smith sees art in just about everything – especially kids.
The Brandon artist hosted his second showing in Houston recently as part of the Regional Global Network Holiday Gala. He plans to come back to Houston and teach the finer points of art to youth in the community.
“My art means to so much to me and it expresses who I am,” said Smith. “Art has helped me become so much more than I used to be.”
Smith loves color and his pieces blaze with all the colors of the rainbow and make quality dominant art for any room. He also does work with wooden stumps, limbs and timber.
“Art teaches discipline. Art teaches organization. Art teaches kids how to focus. Art teaches hard work and how to work toward a goal,” said Smith. “When a young person learns these qualities through art, they can easily apply them to other parts of their life.”
Smith was on hand for the opening of Regional Global Network (RGN) in the spring and collected a close group of young artist at the time. His goal now is to come back and begin a series of classes with youngsters at the newly renovated RGN building on Malcomb Street, which was theHouston Boys & Girls Club.
“We have been so blessed to buy this building and have big plans for it,” said Carol Rogers, executive director of Regional Global Network. “We are partnering with Global Learning Academy and will offer an affordable after school program that is heavily into the arts and music.”
Rogers said Smith was chosen to head up the art arm of RGN.
“Some people call my work folk art, some people like it and some people don’t,” said Smith. “But it’s not about my style. It’s more about teaching kids to find their talent and express themselves through art.”
And Smith said this won’t be a coloring class with students’ work pinned on the wall.
“We will show the good stuff and encourage all to do their best,” said Smith. “But you have to earn your chance to hang something on the wall.
“I believe in excellence and we will push that on everyone in our studio,” he explained. “We will keep doing it until we get it right. The world of art expects nothing less than your very best. The kids here will learn that.”
The mission of RGN is to empower families and individuals to enjoy good, healthy, home environments and to help people thrive regardless of age or social-economic standing.
Rogers said that will be done through education programs offered by RGN, and entrepreneurial and business enterprise development training. She added another component will be the fostering of social and cultural enrichment programs based on the arts.
RGN has opened offices at 485 Parish Street and is urging the community to drop by and see what they offer.
“Our executive staff, a team of professionals recognized in their fields for presenting top-quality workshops,” said Rogers “We will offer full training programs from caring for the aged to household economics and business development strategies.”
Rogers said RGN has partnered with Warren Stamps and North Mississippi Center for Higher Educational Advancement to provide academic counseling, career counseling, information on educational opportunities and assistance in completing applications for college admissions, testing and financial aid.
Rogers said RGN is all about restoring communities one family at a time.
“We have a lot of enthusiasm and we realize it will take time to make these things happen in Houston and Chickasaw County,” said Rogers. “I am from this area and I can think of no better place to make this all happen. We are excited to be in Houston and ready to get to work.”